Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Modeling Biofuel Fitness for the Sea

22.06.2012
With the help of a $2 million grant from the U.S. Office of Naval Research, mechanical engineers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison will develop a tool to characterize the performance of a new class of alternative fuels that could be used in maritime vehicles such as submarines and aircraft carriers.

With fossil fuels a limited resource largely controlled by other nations, the U.S. Navy—the largest user of diesel fuel in the country—understandably is interested in alternative fuels that can be produced in the United States.

However, the Navy has some unique needs for powering its fleet of ships, submarines, aircraft carriers, and other marine vessels: The fuels can’t mix with water, nor can they be readily flammable. This excludes most existing biofuels.

A new type of diesel biofuel, called hydro-treated vegetable oil (HVO), could be the answer for maritime vessels. It’s just a matter of determining which, of many possible blends, performs best in an engine. Every fuel has a unique combination of traits, including how hot it burns, how its different components interact, and how quickly the combustion reaction starts.

And as an alternative to expensive, time-consuming tests of each of these traits for every candidate fuel, Rolf Reitz, Wisconsin Distinguished Professor of mechanical engineering at UW-Madison, will lead a project to create a tool for modeling fuel properties.

In fact, Reitz and his colleagues in the UW-Madison Engine Research Center will use the distribution of components in the fuel themselves to predict a fuel’s performance in an engine. For example, all fuels contain different proportions of various types of chemicals, such as aromatic compounds. While each is slightly different, aromatics as a group behave similarly in combustion experiments, and Reitz’s team will characterize how the proportion of aromatic compounds in a fuel affects its behavior in the Engine Research Center suite of test engines.

With rigorous experimentation on a variety of fuels, Reitz says the team can create a world-class model that predicts a fuel’s behavior based solely on its chemical breakdown, allowing the Navy—and eventually, anyone else—to more easily select the best HVO blend for its needs.

"This tool can help them assess whether that fuel makes sense without having to do laborious extensive testing,” Reitz says. “They’ll still have to do some testing, but this lets them eliminate certain classes right off the bat.”

Christie Taylor, ctaylor@engr.wisc.edu, (608) 263-5988

Christie Taylor | Newswise Science News
Further information:
http://www.wisc.edu

Further reports about: Biofuel Engine Fitness HVO Modeling alternative fuel sea snails

More articles from Power and Electrical Engineering:

nachricht A big nano boost for solar cells
18.01.2017 | Kyoto University and Osaka Gas effort doubles current efficiencies

nachricht Multiregional brain on a chip
16.01.2017 | Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences

All articles from Power and Electrical Engineering >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Traffic jam in empty space

New success for Konstanz physicists in studying the quantum vacuum

An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...

Im Focus: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Sustainable Water use in Agriculture in Eastern Europe and Central Asia

19.01.2017 | Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Helmholtz International Fellow Award for Sarah Amalia Teichmann

20.01.2017 | Awards Funding

An innovative high-performance material: biofibers made from green lacewing silk

20.01.2017 | Materials Sciences

Ion treatments for cardiac arrhythmia — Non-invasive alternative to catheter-based surgery

20.01.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>